JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
Changes resulting from the Real ID act may soon be affecting individuals wishing to access Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson potentially as early as Oct. 10, 2018.
The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses and identification cards.
The act, executed by the Department of Homeland Security, established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the act’s minimum standards.
“’State-based enforcement’ began Feb. 5, 2018,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Justin Villalpando, noncommissioned officer in charge of base access. “What this means for residents from a state that is compliant or has received an extension, may continue to use their current issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, for accessing federal facilities, including bases.”
The license/ID does not have to be Real ID compliant until the “card-based” phase of enforcement which occurs Oct. 1, 2020.
“Unfortunately several state’s extensions, which had included Alaska’s, were set to expire and would be considered non-compliant on Oct. 10,” Villalpando said. “This means approximately 14,000 contractors and local service providers may be negatively impacted and will be required to have alternative forms of identification by this date.”
According to the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles website at doa.alaska.gov, a request for an extension to Homeland Security was approved and extended until June 2019. The newly designed Real ID cards will be available on Jan. 2nd, 2019.
“It’s important for individuals to remember all Department of Defense issued IDs are Real ID compliant and no one with military identification will be affected unless they misplace their ID,” Villalpando said. “For these types of instances, service members, dependents, and personnel can go into a visitor control center and be validated in the system. Visitors and contracted civilian personnel who have to acquire a temporary base pass will need to provide a valid [compliant] form of ID.”
All visitors, contractors, vendors, service providers, and business partners with identification cards or driver’s licenses from the non-compliant states/territories will have the following options: Provide a Real ID Act-compliant credential or be sponsored for escorted base access by a DoD ID card holder. If the individual cannot produce compliant credentials, they will be denied base access.
A list of alternative Real ID Act-compliant Credentials are as follows:
· Federally issued verification cards
· U.S. passport or cards
· Veterans Health Identification Card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs
· U.S. Permanent Resident Card or U.S. Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship
· A driver’s license or ID card issued by a state that meets the Real ID standards or has an extension
· State-issued Enhanced Driver’s Licenses
And for others; for a complete list, visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id
“It is important to understand these IDs do not grant automatic base access – you must still obtain a JBER Defense Biometric Identification System pass,” Villalpando said. “These passes can be acquired at one of our Visitor Control Centers as long as you provide compliant credentials.”
Secure driver's licenses and identification documents are a vital component of our national security framework. Security forces are frontline protection for installations and must enforce federal law.
“During this time of change, we are being diligent about checking the DHS.gov website and will continue to monitor the changes in status daily,” said Tech. Sgt. Donald Nachand, NCOIC of the Visitor Control Centers. “Our security forces at the gates know they are the frontline and must be diligent to check every single time someone arrives at our gates.”
According to DHS.gov, the DHS is committed to enforcing the Real ID Act in accordance with the phased enforcement schedule and regulatory timeframes, and is not inclined to grant additional extensions to any states that are not both committed to achieving full compliance and making substantial and documented progress in satisfying unmet requirements.
For more information about Real ID visit: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id